Forty-Three Places I Haven’t Been

The New York Times published a listing Sunday of The 53 Places To Go In 2008. It includes 43 places I’ve never seen, which says a lot about the gaping chasm between the sophistication of the New York Times’ travel pages and the life I lead.

I found this list as intimidating as I find the New York Times travel section, which is full of such suave pronouncements as "Budapest is the new Prague," statements that puzzle those of us who have yet to visit the places thus referenced. Reading its pages I discover that the fascinating places I have always intended to visit are no longer fashionable, which at least offers the hope that I might one day be able to afford them.

This is my fate. Just as I wear last year’s fashions, I will end up visiting last year’s destinations. As many of them as I can get to, anyway.

Or as many as I dare to visit. Among the hot new destinations on the Times list: Iran, Libya and Death Valley. I wonder whether the Times, unlike other newspapers, isn’t losing its subscribers fast enough.

Anyway, it’s great fun to read. And if Laos is the new Vietnam which, if memory serves, was the new Thailand, which had previously been the new India, maybe it’s time for me to go to Mumbai, which used to be Bombay, before it gets a new name and gets cool all over again.


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